Leaf Type: Pu-erh Tea & Yerba Mate
Where to Buy: Rishi Tea
Velvety, mellow and deep, this chai is an enticing blend of energizing pu-erh tea, shade-grown yerba maté, and cacao. Made even more inviting by creamy vanilla, nutty coconut and fruity, pungent and uplifting Ayurvedic long pepper, Chocolate Chai is a most sophisticated take on hot cocoa.
Learn more about this chai here.
On this cold and wet evening in the Pacific Northwest, I wanted something warm and invigorating. This Organic Chocolate Chai Tea Blend from Rishi Tea is just what I needed!
And it is tasty! I did a quick rinse of the leaves (there’s pu-erh in there, and I didn’t want the cup to taste too earthy) and then I steeped this for four minutes in just under boiling water.
I find that when I use boiling water for Yerba Mate, the resulting brew comes out just a wee bit bitter. My solution to this was to use just under boiling water for Yerba Mate and Mate blends like this one. That way, I can steep a while to get full flavor out of the blend without having a bitter cup.
I’m really liking this chai, although, I find myself in disagreement with calling this “chai.” While I do understand that the word “chai” means “tea,” here in the United States, we’ve come to recognize the word “chai” to mean a tea blended with spices, and these spices usually consist of (but are not limited to) a combination of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger. There are sometimes omissions of one or more of these, and sometimes other spices like peppercorns or anise are added.
However, this blend includes these ingredients:
Ingredients: Organic and Fair Trade Certified™ pu-erh tea, organic roasted cocoa nibs, organic roasted dandelion root, organic yerba maté, organic coconut flakes, organic long pepper, organic cardamom, organic vanilla bean.
With only one of the “usual” ingredients, I find it difficult to call this a “chai.” That … and the fact that this isn’t as spicy as you’d normally experience with a chai. There is some warmth from the pepper and cardamom, but, it’s not a strongly spiced tea.
That said, this is still really enjoyable. I love the deep, mellow notes of the pu-erh and how well they marry with the earthy, vegetative notes of the yerba mate. The cacao and coconut and vanilla play incredibly well together to give this a sweet, rich, chocolate-y and creamy coconut-y flavor. YUM! It’s almost dessert-like!
I love the warmth, I love the complexity of flavors, and you KNOW I’m loving the chocolate! A really yummy tea!